Do you have a books-to-be-read pile? More than one? I do. I have multiple piles/shelves of books I want to read before I die, plus I recently brought home more from my father that he’d finished reading and knew I’d like, and yet I just bought two more. I had time to kill in Walmart while waiting to meet a friend for lunch and decided to peruse the books. I knew better, but I did it anyway.
And I’ll certainly do it again.
Two rules I try to live by that help: One, read two books (or more) from your pile for every one new one you add. This should slowly bring your pile down to a more reasonable size . . . one that won’t crush you should it fall over and lead to an embarrassing news story/documentary for your next of kin. Have you seen “Hoarders”? Two, read from the bottom up. Assuming you can safely move the ones on top. Granted, this won’t decrease the size of your to-be-read pile, but it will bring you some surprises. The books you find at the bottom of the pile are just like brand new because you have probably forgotten you had them. This might briefly satisfy that itch to go into the book store for more.
This recently happened to me. I was looking through one of my to-be-read piles to pick a book to take on vacation, setting aside one after another because I wasn’t feeling it. Then I got to the bottom and . . . what is this?! I had two books I purchased from a then new friend about five years ago, Virginia McCullough. I’d completely forgotten about them. Virginia writes romances about people finding love as they struggle to overcome great difficulties in their lives. First, I read “Amber Light”, about a girl who becomes pregnant after being date-raped, keeps the baby, and spends the next years of her life learning to trust men again. Now I’m reading her book “Island Healing”, book one of her St Anne’s Island Series. This one is about a man fighting to keep his sobriety when he meets a recently divorced woman. Both are trying to find a new path through life, and that path, of course, leads to each other. I highly recommend this author.
I was also reminded of another writer friend, Jennifer Trethewey. I have her four-book series, “Highlanders of Balforss”. Those I’ve only had for two years. They’ve been moved to the top of the pile to be read next. I love a good men in kilts story. (Don’t even get me started on Diana Gabaldon. Book 10 of Outlander comes out in November! I can hardly wait.)
So, more on them later.